IndieBio NY is proud to announce that the Demo Day for IBNY Class 5 is taking place in-person at our brand new headquarters on Wednesday, February 1, 2023, and followed by an online showcase on Tuesday, February 7, 2023.
Investors can sign up here to request an invitation to the In-Person Demo Day on Feb 1. The full-day program will include a series of talks with past and present founders and investors, insights into the current state of biotech and climate tech investment, and the opportunity to meet IBNY’s companies and see their technology in action. In-person registration is free and limited so be quick to request your spot!
Below is snapshot of the new companies you will meet at the Class 5 Demo Day and what makes them special.
IndieBio NY companies have made incredible advancements across human and planetary health, and innovation in the Big Apple shows no sign of slowing as we approach IndieBio NY’s Demo Day with IBNY Class 5. Here are the startups who will be featured on demo day:
Future of Food
Forte Protein has developed an expression system to produce bio-identical animal proteins such as ovalbumin and lactoferrin within plants like kale or lettuce. Their technology platform allows them to quickly and economically produce and harvest a complete spectrum of complex animal proteins in plants sustainably. Their proteins can be used as ingredients in all kinds of non-GMO, vegan, kosher, and gluten-free products such as meat replacements, energy drinks, supplements, gels, cheese, and milk alternatives.
Forte Protein’s expression vector technology was developed by Co-Founder Dr. Kathleen Hefferon at Cornell University to produce target animal proteins in greenhouses, using short plant growth cycles, that increase yield and minimize pest pressures.
They can also repurpose their plant waste as feedstock, fertilizer, biofuel, extracts, and other plant compounds to further reduce their carbon footprint and produce additional revenue streams.
There’s a laundry list of reasons why cultivated meat is better for the planet, better for animals, and better for our health. So why aren’t we seeing cell-based meat in our supermarkets?
Because making cultivated meat is very expensive, making it impossible to scale. The input costs are much too high to consider bringing products to market. And the most expensive piece in production –accounting for over 80% of production’s cost– is a component in cell culture media called growth factors.
At Edge, they’re solving this growth factor problem. They’ve created a novel bioprocess using animal cell factories that self-supply authentic growth factors. Their bioprocess methodology is sourced from mammalian cells, meaning they’re more closely mimicking the natural biological process that occurs within organisms. It isn’t through fermentation or molecular farming –both of which have extensive downstream processing. The direct production costs in recombinant protein production are very much influenced by the downstream process, specifically the isolation and purification steps. By innovating a method that needs no downstream processing, they’ve effectively cut most of the costs.
Their cell factories, compatible with existing bioprocesses, ensure a constant supply of growth factors to cells in an innovative system. The result is an increase in cell activity and a drastic decrease in production costs and contamination risk.
Approximately 50% of the world’s fisheries are currently fished at unsustainable levels as demand increases and climate change accelerates the collapse of our oceans’ ecosystem. Wildfish populations in particular are being pushed to the brink – many of these species cannot be grown via aquaculture and will go extinct with our current trajectory.
Atlantic Fish Co’s vision is a future that’s better for people, animals, and the planet — cultivated meat and seafood technology make this possible. They are developing cultivated seafood to provide the world with delicious and sustainable protein. Cells are harvested from the fish and fed nutrients in a bioreactor. Scaffolding is used to give the cells a structure to grow on and produce the texture of a whole fish fillet. The end product is real seafood, grown directly from fish cells but without the consequences of legacy fishing.
Their product is real seafood that is delicious, clean, safe, and climate-friendly – free of plastics, mercury, and antibiotics, and grown without animal suffering or environmental impact.
Green Industrial Biotech
Environmental Contaminants such as PFAS and plastic resist natural degradation and have devastating effects on health and the environment. Though governments have known about these environmental contaminants for some time, federal regulation falls far short of what’s required to protect communities and the future of our planet.
Vader Nanotech’s work is aimed at improving our ability to recycle plastic and degrade forever chemicals by creating new organisms and enzymes that break down these pollutants. Their approach utilizes automation, image-processing & computer vision, and analytical chemistry to select for organisms with the ability to grow on PFAS and other difficult-to-break-down chemicals as a sole carbon source. Using directed evolution techniques they optimize these organisms and improve their performance.
Nowadays, solvents are a necessary part of the production process in many industries and are essential for many products to work effectively. Despite their widespread use, the solvent manufacturing industry is highly reliant on petroleum refineries or manufacturing petrochemical plants. Only 10% of solvents today are manufactured using other feedstocks such as biomass.
Bioeutectics is determined to help industrial processes become more sustainable by bringing green solvents to the mainstream. The company’s non-toxic, biodegradable, and sustainable solvents are made using a combination of eutectic technology and green chemistry, allowing them to customize products and adapt them to a variety of industries such as food, pharma, and personal care.
Pneuma is developing the next generation of sustainable materials – implementing the process of photosynthesis as a product feature. OXYA, their living and breathing textile, is seeded with microalgae that consume carbon dioxide and produce oxygen.
Pneuma’s vision is to help nature in the production of oxygen by transforming human-made materials – aiming for technology indistinguishable from nature. Their proprietary production process will redefine the apparel & homeware sectors and usher in a new era of engineered living materials that can photosynthesize, and help people build healthier relationships with their surroundings.
With recent bans on real fur going into effect across the EU, United States, and beyond, and a decline in customer acceptance of plastic-based furs, luxury brands are actively seeking novel sustainable fur alternatives to animal and synthetic furs. BioFluff is working on developing a cost-competitive, biodegradable, and high quality alternative to both.
BioFluff is the world’s first completely plant-based fur targeting the luxury clothing market. Their fur is plastic-free, GMO-free, and vegan, sourced from organic renewable fiber plants – no pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, petrochemicals or unsustainable raw-oil derivatives are used.
Their patented process provides a drop in solution to existing industries to produce already 14k square feet of material in our manufacturing location in Italy.
Therapeutics & Drug Discovery
A new wave of RNA therapeutics has the potential to transform treatment for solid tumours. Existing non-viral technologies cannot target tumour cells. Moreover, these fail to release the therapeutic RNA into the cytosol, less than 1% leaks out of the endosomes (a sub-cellular compartment). The remaining 99% is degraded.
EndoPore is Vitarka Therapeutics’ solution to this drug delivery problem. Using a synthetic biology approach, our team has developed pore forming proteins (PFPs) for targeted, cytosolic delivery of RNA therapeutics. PFPs have a naturally evolved mechanism of endosomal escape, which we are exploiting along with using a validated mechanism of stabilising RNA.
Drug development costs over $2 billion per drug with a failure rate of 90% because in vitro methods do not mimic the systemic organization of the human body and animal models are too different from Humans. As a result, the limitations of in vitro testing reduce the probability to develop safe and efficient drugs for patients needing them and prevent an efficient transition toward animal-free drug discovery.
FluoSphera is developing the first liquid microphysiological systems (MPS) ever made to revolutionize drug discovery. The MPS of FluoSphera recapitulates the complex organization of the human body in vitro by mimicking the communications between multiple human organs. These smart tools thus predict the effects of candidate drugs much better, even before they reach the first patient, to stop missing the most promising drugs.
With this powerful technology, FluoSphera helps to increase the success rate in clinical trials while proposing superior alternatives to animal experimentation.
Period pain has an immediate negative impact on the quality of life, forcing 41% of menstruators to miss work or school. For places like the US, this results in over $7B loss annually. Current treatment options such as painkillers (NSAIDs), hormones, opioids, and surgery have serious side effects like kidney failure, stomach ulcers, blood clots, strokes, loss of fertility, and even death. So, why don’t other treatment options exist?
AIMA is transforming the lives of 80M North American menstruators by developing a new generation of period pain management systems. They are working diligently to bring tested CBD-infused products into the hands of menstruators. Their first product, OVY, is a vaginal suppository that will offer a safe and effective pain management solution with dosages based on personalized pain response.
AIMA will conduct a dose-escalating clinical study to assess the safety and efficacy of their CBD-infused vaginal suppository in 40 menstruators who have moderate to severe dysmenorrhea. This clinical study will provide foundational information about the blood profile of cannabinoids and provide the first scientific evidence about the vaginal delivery of CBD and CBG.